The Indians have signed outfielder Trayce Thompson, left-hander Josh Smith, and right-hander James Hoyt to minor league deals, the team announced (Twitter link). All three received invitations to the Tribe’s big league Spring Training camp. Hoyt, it should be noted, was re-signed after being non-tendered yesterday.
Hoyt did not appear in the majors for Cleveland after being acquired in a July trade with the Astros. He did, however, see significant time pitching out of the Astros’ bullpen in 2016 and 2017. He made 66 appearances in total, earning a 2-1 record with a 4.40 ERA. The 31-year-old right-hander definitely has a better chance of making the big league team in Cleveland, where a complete overhaul of the bullpen is taking shape.
Thompson, 27, struggled mightily with the White Sox last season. Over 130 plate appearances in Chicago, Thompson hit an ugly .116/.163/.215 with three home runs. He also appeared in three games with Oakland. A decent defensive outfielder, Thompson can handle all three outfield positions, but he’ll need to show vast improvement at the plate to have a chance at seeing big league time in Cleveland next year.
Smith, 31, last saw time in the majors with Oakland in 2017. For his career, he made 67 appearances for the A’s and Reds with an overall 5.30 ERA (5.07 FIP). He spent 2018 pitching at Triple-A for the Red Sox and Mariners.